changing the names
devotions from Jefferson Vann #2360
Num 32:20 So Moses said to them, “If you will do this, if you will take up arms to go in the sight of Yahveh for the war,
Num 32:21 and every armed man of you will pass over the Jordan in the sight of Yahveh, until he has driven out his enemies from in the sight of him
Num 32:22 and the land is subdued in the sight of Yahveh; then after that you will return and be free of obligation to Yahveh and to Israel, and this land will be your possession in the sight of Yahveh.
Num 32:23 But if you will not do so, notice, you have sinned against Yahveh, and be sure your mistake will find you out.
Num 32:24 Build cities for your little ones and folds for your sheep, and do what you have promised.”
Num 32:25 And the people of Gad and the people of Reuben said to Moses, “Your servants will do as my Yahveh commands.
Num 32:26 Our little ones, our wives, our livestock, and all our animals will remain there in the cities of Gilead,
Num 32:27 but your servants will pass over, every man who is armed for war, in the sight of Yahveh to battle, as my lord orders.”
Num 32:28 So Moses gave command concerning them to Eleazar the priest and to Joshua the son of Nun and to the heads of the fathers’ houses of the tribes of the people of Israel.
Num 32:29 And Moses said to them, “If the people of Gad and the people of Reuben, every man who is armed to battle in the sight of Yahveh, will pass with you over the Jordan and the land will be subdued in the sight of you, then you will give them the land of Gilead for a possession.
Num 32:30 However, if they will not pass over with you armed, they will have possessions among you in the land of Canaan.”
Num 32:31 And the people of Gad and the people of Reuben answered, “What Yahveh has said to your servants, we will do.
Num 32:32 We will pass over armed in the sight of Yahveh into the land of Canaan, and the possession of our inheritance will remain with us beyond the Jordan.”
Num 32:33 And Moses gave to them, to the people of Gad and to the people of Reuben and to the half-tribe of Manasseh the son of Joseph, the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites and the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, the land and its cities with their territories, the cities of the land throughout the country.
Num 32:34 And the people of Gad built Dibon, Ataroth, Aroer,
Num 32:35 Atroth-shophan, Jazer, Jogbehah,
Num 32:36 Beth-nimrah and Beth-haran, fortified cities, and folds for sheep.
Num 32:37 And the people of Reuben built Heshbon, Elealeh, Kiriathaim,
Num 32:38 Nebo, and Baal-meon (their names were changed), and Sibmah. And they gave other names to the cities that they built.
Num 32:39 And the sons of Machir the son of Manasseh went to Gilead and captured it, and dispossessed the Amorites who were in it.
Num 32:40 And Moses gave Gilead to Machir the son of Manasseh, and he settled in it.
Num 32:41 And Jair the son of Manasseh went and captured their villages, and called them Havvoth-jair.
Num 32:42 And Nobah went and captured Kenath and its villages, and called it Nobah, after his own name.
changing the names
Matthew Henry comments:
“They changed the names of them (v. 38), either to show their authority, that the change of the names might signify the change of their owners, or because their names were idolatrous, and carried in them a respect to the dunghill-deities that were there worshipped. Nebo and Baal were names of their gods, which they were forbidden to make mention of (Ex. 23:13 ), and which, by changing the names of these cities, they endeavoured to bury in oblivion; and God promises to take away the names of Baalim out of the mouths of his people, Hos. 2:17 ”
We should be careful of the reputation of the things that we call our own. If our community has a reputation of being sinful or corrupt, we should do everything we can to change that reputation, because if we inhabit a land, our God’s reputation is at stake.
LORD, give us the wisdom to change the reputation of the communities we inhabit.